FERPA Information for Parents
Privacy rights afforded under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) change significantly once a student enters a post-secondary institution. The same laws that give parents access to and control over a child’s education records during elementary and high school transfer ownership of the records to the student at the college level.
Frequently Asked Questions
According to FERPA, when a student reaches 18 years old or enrolls at a post-secondary institution (such as a university or college), the rights previously afforded to the parents of a student transfer to the student. Education record information (including financial information) is only shared with the student, not the parent. Third party access is permitted with an authorization from the student.
Parents are encouraged to ask their students for academic information if it's needed. A student can also authorize faculty and staff to provide parents with protected information on a case-by case basis or grant access through the Parent Portal.
Instructions for Students
- Log-in to myWings and access Student Self Service.
- From the Student Records menu, select Parent Access.
- Read the information contained on the page and then click on the Add Parent link toward the bottom of the page.
- If you know your parent's UNF ID (their N-number), enter it in the field titled UNF ID and select the best match for the relationship between you and this person. When you have finished, click Add.
- An on-screen confirmation message will be seen. Select the appropriate response.
- If you do not know your parent's UNF ID (their N-number) or if they do not have an N-number, click on the Create Account Invitation link.
- On the Parent Account Invitation screen, enter all of the information requested and click Submit.
- If the parent already has a myWings account due to a prior history with UNF (i.e. they are a former employee or student) skip to Instructions for Parents below. If not, an email will be sent to you with important information. Forward the email to the person you identified in the system. They will need to complete the registration process.
- After the parent has been established in the system, you may edit what your parent can see. If you need to change the default values, click the Edit link and indicate your selections. Click on the HELP link in the upper right-hand corner for more information regarding what details are contained in each category.
- You may not delete a person from your parent list, but you may restrict their access to your information through the edit function.
- The permission to access student's information will expire at the end of December each year, as noted on the screen. Students will need to follow these same instructions each year to renew their permissions.
The Parent Portal is a tool that allows a student to provide secure online access to several components of their education record. If your student elects to provide you with access to the records, he/she may do so through the myWings portal on the Student Records menu.
For more information regarding the Parent Portal, including how to sign up, please refer to the Parent Portal Guide.
Parents are strongly encouraged to contact their student regarding an education record.
Education record information is only shared with the student and may not be shared with the parent, except in the following circumstances:
- The student elects to give parent access through the Parent Portal or authorizes the release of information on a case-by-case basis by submitting a release form available in One-Stop Student Services.
- The only requested information is directory information, and the student has not selected non-disclosure.
The information is released in response to a lawful subpoena.
Education record information can only be shared with an authorized third party in person with photo ID presented. Information cannot be shared via email or telephone.
Directory information is the information available about a student that is not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. While FERPA and state law protect the privacy of education records, directory information is not treated as confidential and may be disclosed by the university without student consent unless the student requests non-disclosure. At UNF, the following has been designated as directory information:
- Mailing Address
- Telephone number
- Dates of attendance
- Admitted College/ Majors
- Degrees Awarded
- Status (Full or Part-Time)
- Classification (freshman, sophomore, etc)
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight/ Height of athletes
- Student images, including photographs, videos, or any other media containing a student's image or likeness
Class schedule information is protected and can only be shared with the student. If there is an emergency, contact the University Police Department
. An officer will obtain the student's schedule and notify the student of the emergency situation or ask the student to contact the parent.
In most cases, UNF will not contact you or provide medical, academic, or disciplinary information without your student's permission. In the case of an extreme emergency, where the health of your son or daughter is in serious jeopardy, or if there is a concern that he/she poses a threat to him or herself or to someone else, the University may contact you. As a general guideline, if your child is able to communicate about the situation, it is up to him/her to decide whether and how to discuss the issues.
No. A student's privacy is protected regardless of who pays tuition.
Unless the student has specifically authorized the instructor to speak to a third party, the instructor is prohibited from sharing information regarding the student's performance in a class.
FERPA regulations protect a student's education records and do not include physical or mental health records. Medical and counseling records are protected under other policies, laws, and professional ethics standards. In general, physical and mental health professionals will not share information with a parent except in emergency situations. Students with medical or counseling records can elect to share those records with third parties.
A student's privacy rights expire upon death. Because FERPA rights are no longer extended to deceased students, Federal law allows the institution to exercise its own discretion in deciding whether or not, and under what circumstances, a student's education records should be disclosed to family members or other third parties. Requests for education records of a deceased student should be made to the Office of the Registrar and be for either business purposes or at the request of the estate.